Swamped Chapter 60 Page 15

“Really, there’s no reason to be so upset,” you say nonchalantly. “I’m still getting my bearings, finding out what I missed, catching up with old friends, maybe even having a talk with the big man if I’m lucky…”

Tom Eighth’s eyes turn on you very abruptly. How interesting.

“What’d you just say?”

“What, about the big man? Oh, sorry, I couldn’t remember his name. Maybe it’s Davey? Strapping fellow who signed up last year. Really been hoping to meet him, and now might just be my chance.”

“Just get lost, Sixth,” Lisa groans. “Don’t have time for your nonsense right now. We’ve still got work to do.”

Hmm. Well. She can tell you’re bluffing, of course. But the other Tom’s eyes already gave away plenty.

And while Lisa’s good at hiding her intentions – damned good – she’s not perfect. And you’re better than most at catching the few flaws in her defenses. You’ve never won a game against her, no one has. But you’ve won bets she wasn’t expecting to lose.

Right now, she’s got her betting eyes on. She’s in the middle of a big gamble. And she doesn’t want you mixed up in it if it goes wrong.

Add in Eighth’s reaction, and the conclusion is clear: it’s a gamble involving the big man.

Which means, all in all, that this is far and away the juiciest lead you’ve gotten all night. You need to get in on this, one way or another.

So what’s your next move?

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The best tactic you have is to assume she knows everything, and work backwards from there.

So assume she knows about the password, who the big man is, the creatures Juliet has been drawing, what Squib is up to, how Ash recruits, what Grey is worried about, and that the postmaster wants you to help decide the next commander.

Okay, well she probably doesn’t know all of that, but it doesn’t take long for Lisa to go from inclination to deduction.

Once you assume she knows all of that, it makes it easier to give up some information (after all what’s the value of gossip if you don’t spread it around?) Lisa has a tendency to think other people are as on-point as she is, so she’ll let things slip thinking you already know it too.

Ash seems to be a hot topic around here. Start with him

“I guess I should get going, Sargent Ash wanted to speak with me. I’m nervous though, don’t know much about the guy. Anything I should be aware of?”